town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States

Milford is a town in the Souhegan Valley area of Hillsborough County in southern New Hampshire, USA. Formerly home to several granite quarries (which led to its nickname of "The Granite Town") and textile mills in the 19th century, the town is now the commercial and retail center for surrounding towns. A rather small and rural town that isn't typically thought of as a tourist destination, it nonetheless offers unique historical and scenic attractions and can make for an excellent stop in a larger tour of the areas of Manchester or Nashua. In 2020, it was home to 16,000 people.

Milford Town Hall on The Oval

Get in

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Map of Milford (New Hampshire)

By air

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  • Manchester - Boston Regional Airport (MHT IATA), Brown Av. Route 101 exit 2, +1 603-624-6556. A convenient way to get to Milford and much of southern New Hampshire. Sometimes used as a low-cost, low hassle alternative to Logan International Airport in Boston. Airlines serving Manchester include Air Canada, American, Delta, Southwest, and United. Southwest is the primary passenger air carrier for the airport, and now accounts for more than half of the airport's annual passenger traffic.

By bus

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By car

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Milford is at the intersections of Route 101 and Route 101A (they converge on the east and west edges of the town), and is also easily reached from Exit 8 of Route 3 (the Everett Turnpike).

Get around

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In Milford, the only practical mode of transportation is car. Union Square and the surrounding area is walkable once you're there, but they can only be accessed by car.

The center of activity in Milford, and the gateway to most other attractions, is Union Square. It's referred to as "The Oval" by locals, and it's actually a triangle. If you can ignore its utter defiance for basic geometry, you will be able to enjoy a surprisingly diverse menagerie of shops, dining, historical architecture and monuments in an area small enough to easily traverse on foot. Despite its density, Union Square is quite laid-back and usually not busy except during events, which take place in the courtyard. Other destinations under "Do", "Buy", "Eat" and "Drink" are primarily (not exclusively) within the confines of Union Square, and adventurous travelers could spend an entire day only in this area and be entirely provided for. However, even in the absence of visiting local businesses, Union Square still serves as a quiet and pristine window into the town's past, with buildings like the Town Hall and the Wadleigh Memorial Library serving as evidence to this.

Although there are few tourist attractions outside of Union Square, the entire town also serves as an attraction in autumn, with wooded back roads creating excellent photo opportunities for leaf peepers. Fall foliage usually peaks in late October in the area, and if you're not afraid of getting a little lost, you can make the most of your visit to Milford by taking the road less traveled. Luckily, there are usually multiple ways to get to the same place in Milford, so it's easy to resume your normal itinerary at any time. Milford also has a hiking trail which passes by Union Street for additional opportunities in this regard.

  • 1 Union Square (The Milford Oval), Union Square. Union Square, or The Oval as locals refer to it, is the heart of the Town of Milford, with shops, restaurants, and the bell made by Paul Revere that still rings the hour at Town Hall. Free.
  • 1 Milford Drive-In, 531 Elm St, +1 603-673-4090. Drive—in theater with 2 screens. $32 per car.
  • Milford Pumpkin Festival, Union Square. every October. Festival that takes over downtown Milford with vendors, food, drink, music, and various fall- and Halloween-themed activities.

Collectively, Milford and neighboring towns such as Amherst and Wilton have a variety of consignment stores and antique shops. Collectors can find, among other things, obscure films and media formats, sports relics, and coins of all kinds.

  • 1 Serendipity on the Oval, 227 Union Sq, +1 603 554 1878, . M W-F 9AM-4:30PM, Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 9AM-4PM. Consignment store with incredible variety. Usually well-stocked with records, baseball cards, games and decor. Books dated in the 1800s have been found here.
  • 2 Vynterest Antiques and Flips, LLC, 479 Elm St, +1 978-226 1319. M W-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 11AM-4PM. Consignment store with a (non-exclusive) focus on decor and craftsmanship. Promotional products from the history of major U.S. companies can be found here.
  • 3 Unitary, 99 Union Square, #1, +1 603-213 5298, . Tu-Sa 11AM-8PM. Not consignment per se, but most goods sold here are reused. Specializes in vintage clothes and also has records.

Drink

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Sleep

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Stay safe

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Heavy storms and "microbursts" are common in the entire New England area, but are especially dangerous in Milford, where trees and power lines may be damaged by extreme weather, affecting roads. If you see scattered branches on the ground in wooded areas, a storm may have recently passed through; check with locals or on the news to see if you need to avoid any blocked roads. Do not go near downed power lines, and if you find any by accident, inform Eversource and reroute. While this is mostly just an issue in the winter due to snowfall, heavy rain and wind can have the same effect year-round, so always check ahead of time and have a back-up plan. Keeping yourself informed and planning your route ahead of time can reduce this "threat" to a minor inconvenience. If you are caught in a storm, you may be able to wait it out and continue your journey when conditions are better, since weather in the area is prone to change rapidly.

Drivers in Union Square can be aggressive. If you are driving in the Oval, don't stop or slow down more than necessary (such as to obey traffic signs and signals). If you're a pedestrian, it is better to wait for a clearing in traffic to cross a road than to assume drivers will see you waiting at the crosswalk and stop for you. Both of these warnings primarily apply when the roundabout is busy.

Connect

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Go next

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  • Hollis - borders Milford, home to the Monson Historical Village[dead link] and with similarly eclectic shops and restaurants
  • Peterborough - larger but equally old-fashioned, also has the scenic Pack Monadnock at Miller State Park
  • Manchester - the largest city in New Hampshire, with repurposed mill buildings, a variety of dining options and clubs, and a stadium
  • Nashua - the second-largest city in New Hampshire, with most activity centered on its historic Main Street
Routes through Milford
KeenePeterborough  W   E  AmherstManchester
END  W   E  AmherstNashua



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